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October 28, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Preemptive Spooky

Halloween greeting card with boy going up stairs seeing line of black cats (1900-1916?) (USPD., artist life/

What part of a line of zombie cats says “jolly”? Maybe it was a hurry-up-I-want-to-go-home cut and paste from a Christmas card by the artist. The cats sort of look like morphed demented elves. Squint: stockings in hand rather than pumpkins… (USPD/

Horror beyond belief. Torment undeniable. (So I have been told…firmly…followed by “I saw those eye rolls!”)

The dark, chilly winds rattling the loose wind turbines on the neighbor’s roof add to the shivers.

Although Staff feels inappropriate table linens under RC Cat’s meals fails to criteria of terror.

Seriously. It’s a paper towel. So it’s not folded exactly into a plateau flat, perfect six inch square. You managed to survive “living primitively rough” (HRH’s words) for a few days. No, it is not a stain on the Realm’s reputation…maybe a cat food stain on the ledge… (Sigh)

Hey, Staff is not going to look kindly on retaliation. The liter box, sorry, the “facilities” (can’t slip into uncouth language of the Lesser Creatures), is right where it’s always been – and you darn well know it is. Sigh.

Elegant place setting of china, glass ware, silverware on dinner table. (Hopefulromntic21)/

Nope. Not gonna happen. There is a limit. (Hopefulromntic21)/

Into every world a little weird must intrude.

Ever live near an ancient graveyard or positive you felt the touch of an ancient relative long gone?

People call those more observant, more aware, more open – or snickering: “sensitive” with an over-active imagination, a creative soul – or just silly and foolish. But those who know, quietly know (yet rarely tell.)

But as the curtains are drawn, fires lit, and lights fight the short days and long nights, time seems right for a few spooky stories you may have missed.

Two women and a child. 1922. Oliver Morosco Prod/Assoc. First Nat. Pictures/Exhibitors Herald (USPD. artist life,

“Ah, yes, Hansel. I think this one is just plump enough.” Think of original fairy tale versions as “controlled scares” like “controlled prairie burns”: rattled nerves, sweaty scared, but growing strong afterwards. (USPD//

“Beside her”. (2012.) “A light touch. Or was it? Had she been sleeping?…” (O. Henry would be proud.)

“Dark and stormy night.(More than two sentences)”  (2013) “It was a dark and stormy night.(She always thought Snoopy as a writer was underrated.) No way they could force her out now. Not with this downpour. They know she’d fight the only way she could: dead weight…”

“Rocky end. Interrupted” (2014) The beginning is a rough draft of a story/novel being written at the time, but then it unsettlingly rolls into something else…

“Dark, stormy, and spooky, Mommy!” (2015. OK. Here’s the graveyard one.) “Again. Standing at the back door. Completely dressed. Neatly. She couldn’t have managed all those buttons herself. What’s with that child?…”

“Life on the way out” (2016) “People are always stopping by on their way out. If you’ve grown up around really old people, you know they do what they want…”

“Gentleman mist missed”  (2017) “Dogs can tell whether the one in front of them is OK or not…”

I relish the end of October. The brisk and chill do energize as well as stir fright.

How many days until Christmas? (Serious fright. Now available for purchase: inflatable yard decoration of Cousin Eddie’s RV from National Lampoon Christmas Vacation show…)

And then there’s some of our fine elected state legislators once again using “Do it for the Children” as an attempt to slip in some real horror: a state income tax. Nope. (Story here) We know that trick. Last time it was “Hey, we’ve got to have a state lottery – to fund the schools! “Do it for the children!”…Years ago. Sadly/oddly the majority of Lottery money went into to the state’s General Fund – and once it’s in there, it’s gone faster than a rattlesnake’s bite – and not where it was supposed to go. So no.

Happy to scare up votes FOR Proposition 5 to amend the Texas constitution in order to provide dedicated funding for state and local parks and historic site because it means ALL of the money from existing taxes on sale of any sporting goods automatically goes directly to parks and historic site…not into the state’s General Fund where the revenues are currently disappearing into everyplace except where it was meant to go. (Grrrrrr. Insert angry werewolf face here.)

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…

Doesn’t get much scarier than that.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Grirl blowing horn and three pumpkins (1910 greeting card. THree Jack-o-Lanterns. Missouri History Museum (USPD. artist life,

Once again, odd. An early attempt to merge holidays: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Trick or Treat. (1910 greeting card/(USPD/


  1. easyweimaraner / Oct 28 2019 7:07 am

    the property of my mother is next to an abandoned graveyard… we were there in broad daylight, but wow… even the boyz forgot to do BS… LOL


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 28 2019 3:15 pm

      That little pioneer graveyard/family plot was once surrounded by ranch land. The subdivision developer can put up a tall wood fence, but the gate would never stay shut and you could see straight into it from upstairs of the houses’ perimeters. People kept moving in and quickly out of the closest house – didn’t surprise me. The Boviers pups would cross the street instead of walking right past it. There was something – something not imaginary. Thanks for risking a peek here and Hope you have a happy howloween!


  2. Ally Bean / Oct 28 2019 7:56 am

    I had to go read your Snoopy post. I don’t think I knew you then, but I often say that Snoopy is my spirit animal and his writing career is part of that reason. Love that 1910 postcard, too. The imagery is colorful and delightfully creepy.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 28 2019 3:18 pm

      Snoopy is such a hero – couldn’t ask for a better guide.
      I find the vintage popular art work/marketing so fascinating and revealing much more about the times than history books. Those zombie cats – hard to go past those and not share them! Thanks for pawsing along

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Crimmins / Oct 28 2019 7:59 am

    State general funds are scary. Our lottery was set up to help seniors with property taxes. Seniors are lucky if they get a $30 rebate because…well…general fund…you know. Legislators are very creative when they want to be or when it benefits them.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 28 2019 3:23 pm

      For some reason the Walking Dead in the TV series/movies remind me of some elected officials (who must have been mentored by vampires or something). Generally, scary and unstoppable, it appears. Thanks for keeping an eye on the ghouls

      Liked by 1 person

  4. aFrankAngle / Oct 28 2019 8:13 am

    Zombie cats may be the scariest thing at Halloween.


  5. robstroud / Oct 28 2019 10:09 am

    Those cats really are creepy. My first impression was that they formed a coven.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 28 2019 3:27 pm

      Certainly not “the night before Christmas”! Popular “art” of years long ago does hold some surprises. (I think this was in the era when it was though you could possibly see your future marriage partner if you looked in the mirror at the right time. Halloween has had so many different focuses and changes over the years.) Thanks for slipping by. Hope your Halloween week treats you right!


  6. Maggie Wilson / Oct 28 2019 2:42 pm

    hubby got into a heated debate with his old school chum today about the un-religiosity of Hallowe-en. I’ll spare you the details (I wasn’t paying close attention) but I think I shall share that last card with the guys. By way of fanning the flames.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 28 2019 3:29 pm

      Hope someone brought up Dia de los Muertos in that conversation….so it wouldn’t be a dead end. Thanks for a fine treat of a comment 🙂


  7. shoreacres / Oct 28 2019 7:49 pm

    Those old cards can haunt, for sure. The only thing scarier/more amusing are the old Valentines. Anyone who thinks folks “back then” didn’t know the meaning of double entendre haven’t spent much time with vintage popular art.

    Here’s something scary from the animal world: yesterday afternoon, out by the old blimp base on 2004, I thought I was watching three free-range dogs running across the highway. Uh– no. They were feral hogs, out cruising at 4 in the afternoon. You don’t suppose they were doing some early trick-or-digging, do you?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 30 2019 12:13 pm

      Being an intellectual and well educated in literature/history as well as politics in previous eras allowed for a good deal more in writings and conversations of multiple levels – enjoyed by all…except the clueless. All the fun is gone with the current crop?
      Hey, think those hogs caught wind of the pumpkin “patches” everywhere? Last year one church had their entire pumpkin “field” hoofed and gobbled overnight (and the minister was demanding animal control/Wildlife do something to stop it…”if you move into place, you’ve got to put up with the neighbors already there…”)
      saw one lingering Monarch this morning and suggested he’d better wing it quickly: Winter is coming. (Darn, did preemptive plant huddling up against the house)
      Thanks for rolling with the pumpkins


  8. cat9984 / Feb 2 2020 3:41 pm

    I thought Michigan was the only state where the lottery money was supposed to go to schools, but ended up in the General Fund. How depressing that it happens in other states too.


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